Earlier this year, Google released ‘YouTube Go’. It is a super-lightweight version of the YouTube app tailored for developing countries. In this YouTube Go review, we list down the things Google has been working on the app since it launched its beta.
The features made are for places where a working, let alone fast, the data connection can be hard to come by. The UI has matched the full YouTube app, but the functionality hasn’t changed much. It’s still only available in a handful of countries, such as India and Indonesia. For everyone else, you can download it from APKMirror.
TAKES UP LESS SPACE ON YOUR PHONE
The app’s size is only 8.5MB compared to YouTube app, which has a size of about 100 MB depending on the device. In YouTube Go, everything is very simple, and it works quickly. There are no wasted animations or complicated UI elements to slow things down. The goal is clear – this app cuts away all the unnecessary designs, and provide the smoothest experience possible.
However, it might have been nice to see your subscribed channels. Instead of playlists, the user of such an app might prefer to download the videos instead. Since subscriptions make it easier to find the content, some people might want the subscriptions page.
DESIGNED TO USE LESS DATA
YouTube Go runs smoothly on smartphones even on slow 2G connections. With almost zero buffering, it plays videos fast. It will adapt to the connection and optimizes the resolution with the device. Google has used a variety of codecs to compress videos so that they can work on slow networks. YouTube Go has a single scrolling list of videos for its home screen.
It features trending and popular videos based on your location, watching patterns, and interests. By tapping on any video, you can see the preview thumbnails of it. Additionally with details on how much storage is available on your phone at that moment. YouTube Go app users can see the total amount of data spent on streaming or saving videos from a particular session.
The app shows the file sizes of downloaded videos as well. A four-minute video takes up 2MB at the basic quality setting. A 21-minute clip took up 12.1MB. At standard quality, 1-minute clip took up 4.8MB. The same clip is 558Kb of basic quality. The sizes may seem lucrative if you have limited space. But the difference in quality it causes is also palpable.
EASY DOWNLOAD OPTION
You have the option of selecting either basic quality or standard quality. In both cases, you can see the amount of space that the file will occupy on your device.
Once you’ve selected the size, you have two options – play, or download. It doesn’t default to either option – you have to choose each time, which can be a little annoying. If you choose to play a file, it starts streaming right away at the chosen quality, and you can see more videos below it.
SHARE EASILY WITH FRIENDS
Among popular YouTube Go review from around the world, the sharing videos on a tap on social platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp have been popular. The process uses Bluetooth, and it’s easy to get started. You can tap on either send or receive. To transfer a file, the person with the file has to tap Send. This makes it start looking for the receiver. Then, the person who wants the file taps Receive.
Once that’s underway, the file is transferred over a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection between the two devices. This means its fast and doesn’t use your Internet data. It first locates the friend’s phone using Bluetooth and BLE for discovery. Then it establishes a connection, then uses Wi-Fi Hotspot (the feature on your phone) and Wi-Fi Direct for transfer. The app establishes a secure wireless channel between two phones using established wireless and encryption protocols.
The file has to be verified on the Internet before watching it on the phone that received it. After the verification, downloaded files can be watched anytime you like, as long as you connect to the Internet at least once a month.
NOT SO LUXURIOUS
In the regular YouTube app, you have the option of minimizing a video while it’s playing. However with YouTube Go, you cannot do that. In fact, you can’t even get 720p video from the app. But, if you’re trying to save as much data as possible, this is the right option for you.
YouTube recently has blogged about the success of YouTube Go in its target market. A startup in Indonesia called Manpan uses YouTube Go as part of their regular community meet-ups. The uses technology to train and empower low-income communities and families in rural Indonesia. Each community chairwoman downloads a playlist of videos, all related to starting and running small businesses. They share these videos with each other using YouTube Go’s nearby sharing function.
Another instance is about a teacher who runs a primary school for low-income children in Lagos, Nigeria. The teacher has said that using YouTube Go has “allowed me to download and watch more videos that help with everything from mathematics lesson plans to how to decorate the classroom.”
After listening to YouTube Go review of many users, YouTube has made a few designs in the app:
- Watch in high quality. In response to user feedback, they have added the ability to download, stream, and share videos in HQ. Before it was only in standard and basic qualities.
- Discover fresh content. Now, you can get new personalized content with a simple pull of the home screen. They have also added notifications when new videos are uploaded from the subscribed channels.
YouTube Go on Google Play is available free.